NASA has begun unloading the Orion spacecraft after its epic mission to the moon.
Technicians opened at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida OrionAnd she began to remove the loads that flew to her Moon And back on board the capsule on Artemis 1 Expedition. This work will take some time.
This week, technicians will extract nine Orion avionics boxes, which will later be refurbished for Artemis 2First mission with astronauts,” NASA officials said wrote in the update (Opens in a new tab) On Tuesday (10 January).
In the coming months, technicians will remove the dangerous goods that remain on board. Once complete, the spacecraft will travel to NASA’s Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility. [in Ohio] Acoustic vibrations and other environmental tests.
Artemis 1 It was launched on November 16th From KSC atop a Space Launch System rocket, sending the uncrewed Orion on a jolting ride into lunar orbit. mission, the first from NASA Artemis program Lunar exploration came to an end when Orion plunged off the coast of Baja California on December 11th.
Then the capsule traveled by truck across the country, Back to KSC on December 30th. Since then, workers have been checking out Orion and its various systems, assessing their performance during the roughly 26-day Artemis 1 mission.
The capsule’s 16.5-foot (5-meter) wide heat shield—the largest of its kind ever—is of particular interest, given the extreme conditions it has undergone. During Orion’s re-entry through Earth’s atmosphere on December 11, the heat shield endured temperatures of up to 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,800 degrees Celsius), about half the temperature of Earth’s surface. the sun.
These ongoing inspections will inform preparations for the Artemis 2 mission, which is scheduled to launch astronauts around the moon in 2024.
If all goes well with that flight, NASA can start preparing for it Artemis 3, which will land the crew near the moon’s south pole, where the agency plans to build a research site by the end of the decade. Artemis 3 is scheduled to launch in 2025 or 2026.
Mike Wall is the author of “Abroad (Opens in a new tab)Book (Major Grand Publishing, 2018; illustration by Carl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @employee (Opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @tweet (Opens in a new tab) or Facebook (Opens in a new tab).
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